Lesbian Couple Barred from Attending Catholic School Prom… So They Throw Their Own Version

It’s hard to understand why a school would bar a same-sex couple from attending prom… maybe because dancing leads to slow dancing and slow dancing leads to not procreating and that goes against all things good and holy.

But that’s what Lexington Catholic High School in Kentucky did to senior Hope Decker and her date, sophomore Tiffany Wright:

In an email Sunday, Lexington Catholic president Steve Angelucci said, “As a Catholic high school, we uphold every teaching of the Catholic Church. The policies and procedures of our school reflect those teachings.”

When the couple tried to enter the school’s gymnasium, where the prom was held, they were turned away…

But the students — always smarter than the administrators at these schools — got the last laugh:

Dancing outside the prom (via Lexington Herald-Reader)

Armed with several car stereos and a group of supportive friends, the teens hosted their own prom in the school parking lot, complete with a table stacked with snacks. After the night’s final song under the stars, 108 students signed a letter to the administration criticizing its decision to turn the girls away.

“We had a wonderful night, and we were surrounded by true friends,” Wright said. “I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.”

Beautiful :)

And Wright even got in the perfect response to anything the administrators could say against them:

“I would understand and respect the school’s decision if they truly upheld church teachings,” Wright said Sunday night. “They didn’t forbid the entrance of all the couples who’ve had premarital sex and all the kids who planned to get drunk after the prom.”

It didn’t happen in the classroom, but the girls and their classmates learned something valuable that night: If you stand together for the right reasons, people will be on your side. Too bad school officials aren’t supporting them, but the media sure as hell will be.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/HomelessGirl1 Nadia G

    Very honourable and great to see them supporting each other. Great example

  • Lee Miller

    My question is, why are they wasting their money on a Catholic education?  What does the Catholic church, or any school associated with it, really have to say to anyone today?  By paying their tuition they’re just enabling a rotten institution to continue on.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Parents?

    • Shanine

      Well their parents are the one’s paying not the girls. It’s high school not collage, I’d much rather send my kids to a non religious (private… if only) school, maybe the atheist community will open some schools like this that can match no exceed the education offered. Better yet, make it an academy (UK, USA and other countries too). 

      • Annie

        “maybe the atheist community will open some schools like this that can
        match no exceed the education offered. Better yet, make it an academy
        (UK, USA and other countries too). ”

        Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  My students are in the process of writing their first letters to their new penpals at Kasese Humanist Primary School in Uganda.  This school is doing wonderful things, but could also use some help.  Simple things that we take for granted, such as pencils and paper, are in need.  We  plan to have a fundraiser and send them supplies next fall.  They also ask for science based books.  If they can make it work in a highly superstitious  area such as Uganda, it should be a piece of cake for the rest of us.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          A charity recently had a table set up outside a dollar store for this purpose.  They weren’t overtly religious, so I didn’t question the school it was going to, but having a humanist one to send to would be nice.

      • KELLYPOPSICLE

        collage huh? maybe you should go to school with your kids and learn how to spell COLLEGE. or better yet, UNIVERSITY

        • Tskaiser4

          Or better yet, perhaps you should learn proper grammar! It is quite laughable that you are trying to correct another’s spelling yet your lack of appropriate capitalization and period usage is horrendous.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/SH5Y2EVWTCTIZM4HQSMC2Z4IWQ Nicholas V

       For me, growing up in my town we had a choice of the under-funded, decrepit public high school or the Catholic high school. My parents chose the Catholic high school, and while there were some rotten, proselytizing teachers, many of them were perfectly decent people who seemed to enjoy what they were doing. I don’t regret going there, but I’ll allow as it would be nice to have a tenable, non-sectarian alternative when I have kids of my own.

  • Daniel Hendricks

    The article said they were told that afternoon.  So presumably not at the front door.  Great to see their classmates supporting them.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      I overlooked that. Thanks. I deleted that last addendum since the question makes no sense with that information.

  • TiltedHorizon

    You have to admire their tenacity. Handled absolutely buetifully. 

  • Reason_Being

    It is great to see kids taking positive action like that.  I understand that a Catholic School does not need to allow a lesbian couple to attend (I understand, but disagree).   I think the way these kids handled it really illustrates how wrong the religious right is when they talk about the depravity of homosexuality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003293001320 Diana Winters

    Damn I wish I could have taken part in something like this.

  • TheAnalogKid

    It’s complete bullshit, but it’s a Catholic school. They probably wouldn’t allow a Planned Parenthood booth at career day. Is the couple openly lesbian at the school? Does the administration allow that? 

  • Bobby

    It makes me sad that this happened in my city, but this definitely isn’t a reflection of Lexington as a whole. We have a large, vocal gay community, and even our mayor is an openly gay man. I am gay myself, and I feel completely welcome and accepted in Lexington.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/SH5Y2EVWTCTIZM4HQSMC2Z4IWQ Nicholas V

       Well, hey, I feel like you could take the most open-minded, progressive city in the world, plop a bunch of Catholics in the middle of it, and they’d still be assholes. Doesn’t reflect badly on anybody else. ;)

    • Lexington

      How did I not realize our mayor was gay? Oh well. As a fellow Lexingtonian (born and raised) I’d like to express that the few faculty members I know at Catholic have expressed their outrage – albeit privately. I promise that this isn’t representative of Lexington as a whole.

  • Alexandra

    This is fantastic!  I’m so impressed by this.

    At my Catholic girls’ high school they wouldn’t let two girls attend on the same ticket and there was no such thing as a single ticket.  My friends and I made a big stink about it because not only were some of us in committed same sex relationships, some of us just wanted to go to prom together as friends who happened to be the same sex instead of taking some random boy.  I mean it was a girls’ school, I didn’t have a lot of male friends.

    They told us that not everyone gets to go to prom, that sometimes you don’t get what you want.  I was appalled.  What kind of girls’ school decides to exclude girls without a male date from an important school event?  They said letting same sex couples attend would “ruin the romantic atmosphere” and that as a Catholic organization they had to “uphold certain ideals.”

    Not proud of my alma mater.  Not at all.

    • amycas

       Weren’t they afraid that the “romantic atmosphere” they cultivated would lead a bunch of premarital, non-procreative sex? They should have allowed as many same sex couples as possible to mingle with the hetero couples to avoid making the baby jesus cry!

  • Lamocla

    The Roman Pedophile Catholic Church at is best again.

  • Todd Armstrong

     Lexington Catholic president Steve Angelucci said, “As a Catholic high school, we uphold every teaching of the Catholic Church. No they don’t. Otherwise, they would have stoned to death every non-virgin.

    • Erp

       Strictly speaking that is Old Testament.  Catholic church (and actually quite a few others) was until very, very recently to send the female never married non-virgins to Magdalene asylums (males were relatively safe unless the girl’s family had the clout to force him to the altar).  What is odd is that some conservative religious schools the end of year party would be (or was) single sex (men have one, women have another).

  • Mdwelch27

    I teach high school and these kids give me great hope for the future.  When you present them an honest philosophical conflict, they are clear-headed and openly question the presumptions often espoused by the adults.  Obviously the kids in this story have their heads on straight – good for you !!

  • Keulan

    Those kids are awesome.

  • Against Stupidity

    Gay Priests are O.K.?  Lesbians not accepted?  Humm, sounds like a problem Rome.

  • kev_s

    Great story. Brightened my day!

  • Dayla66

    I think the possible the difference is being PROUD of this particular sin, coming out as some would say…. in other words, I dont see the girl who had an abortion yesterday yelling it in the streets as good news. Is that becasue we dont accept it as something legal? NO, its becasue somethings are just plain shameful still even if legal. This particular act of gay pride takes something thats PRIVATE and tries to make it ok as PUPLIC. never gonna happen until all the bible believing christians are dead. That is funny to me. All the fight for gay rights while stepping on the ones that dont think its right. Isnt it a right to think the opposite?

    • CelticWhisper

       Is it a right to believe the opposite?  Of course it is.  Voltaire said it best, “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

      However, do not mistake having the right to say something with being excused from social repercussions for saying it.  Actions have consequences and if you speak against gay rights, which many people believe are a long-overdue civil right (and will still believe it no matter how many disagree), expect us to defend our position with equal or greater fervor.

      As for the divide between public and private, being a very private person myself, I agree that a divide is a good thing.  Keep public things public and keep private things private.  However, the flipside of what you’re saying is that standards for public behaviour should not be imposed on private behaviour, and that is what many heterosexist theists seek to do – impose public “decency” rules on the private lives of LGBT people.

      So how’s about a little quid pro quo?  I’m sure LGBT folks would happily agree not to rub their orientation in your face (mostly because they’ll be too busy leading happy lives together to give a shit about you) in exchange for you and yours not interfering with their right to live how they choose.  Deal?

      Oh, and for the record, what exactly is so shameful about people loving each other?  Or are you one of those last-century types who still think that a person is their gender rather than their mind?

    • Ida Know

      Funny how this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pivuom_rfqY) started playing in my head as soon as I read that comment.

    • Yoav

       This is a complete and absolute pile of bovine excrement, do you consider a straight couple going to prom together, or kissing in public, or walking down the street holding hands to be forcing their heterosexual orientation on the public while it should be a private matter, if not, why is it wrong for same sex couples to do the same?

    • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

       You’re allowed to believe that gay sex is bad, and to fully practice that belief by not having gay sex, ever.

      Where we have a problem is when you try to make other people live according to your beliefs when they don’t share them.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Nope.  Pretty sure it’s EXISTING.

    • Patterrssonn

       Is there a point to your weird ramble other than “I’m an idiot”?

    • Bw000

      No, you are a tool. You have the right to think and act how you want but you have no right to enforce it on anyone else. 

    • Lorimakesquilts

      You can think whatever you like, but that doesn’t mean you’re immune from criticism.

      I expect women don’t shout about abortions because it’s a private matter.  A prom is not a private matter that some students can be excluded from for simply being who they are.  Just as marriage is not a private matter since it comes with a host of rights and privileges conferred by the government.  Neither homosexuality nor abortions are shameful.  The hate and bigotry that christians and others exhibit towards others in these matters is most definitely shameful.

    • Stev84

      They aren’t asking to have sex in school in front of everyone. Going to a dance together is NOT a private thing.

    • Parse

      I agree wholeheartedly!
      Taking things that are PRIVATE and trying to make it okay as PUBLIC is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad thing!
      Sex between non-married couples is a shameful, private sin!  So any men and women caught holding hands better be willing to produce their marriage license, or else!

      Seriously, though, I find it hilarious that whenever people include themselves in the group “bible believing christians,” what they really mean is “people who believe the same things as me.”  As if other Christians didn’t believe the Bible.

  • G.ward

    Private religious institution.  Their rules, dont like it, go elsewhere

    • Stev84

      A church is a religious institution. A school isn’t, no matter who owns it

    • TheExpatriate700

      If you have somewhere else to go. Many people end up attending religious schools because the public schools in their area aren’t worth crap.

  • Mcintruder150

    Everyone can say what they want about religion and Christianity.  The bottom line is this:  Christians have every right to believe what WE (yes, I am a Christian!) beleive.  We are just as much within our rights to say what we DO beleive as you are to say what you do not beleive.  This, however, is not a religion or a Christianity issue.  Most Catholic schools while being Christian schools are private schools, meaning you can CHOOSE to attend there in place of going to Public school.  By being private, they most often have a different set of rules and regulations (to go along with the tuition) that you CHOOSE to follow when you CHOOSE to attend there.  If a student or student’s family does not share the same beliefs that the private school’s rules and regulations enforce, they should CHOOSE to attend elsewhere.  If a student or family says they were unaware of such beliefs, I say I have some ocean front property in the middle of the desert I’d like to sell to someone who does not investigate what they invest their money into!

    • jenell

      a little spelling lesson here…believe, not beleive. Just sayin.

  • getyourfactsstraight

    it kind of makes me laugh that the same bible you quote on saying that homosexuality is a sin also states that any woman who gets married but has had premarital sex should be stoned to death. how is one outrageously outdated opinion more understandable in the 21st century than the other? it’s simply ignorance.


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